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UN calls for Iraqi action after archbishop seized

ICC Note

“It is appalling that these attacks on communities that have lived peacefully together in north Iraq for centuries are continuing,”

By Michael Holden

March 2, 2008 Iraq (ankawa.com) – The U.N. envoy to Iraq called on the government to do more to protect minorities after gunmen abducted a Chaldean Catholic archbishop in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul .

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“It is appalling that these attacks on communities that have lived peacefully together in north Iraq for centuries are continuing,” said U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura in a statement.

He called on the government to “redouble its efforts” to protect religious minorities “recalling that the archbishop of Mosul is the latest in a long line of members of the Christian and other communities in Iraq to be killed or abducted”.

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Last June, gunmen killed Catholic priest Ragheed Aziz Kani and three assistants in eastern Mosul after stopping their car near a church in the ethnically and religiously mixed city.

A former archbishop of Mosul , Basile Georges Casmoussa, was kidnapped at gunpoint in 2005 but was freed a day later.

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Brigadier-General Khaled Abdul Sattar, the police spokesman for Nineveh province of which Mosul is the capital, said police were searching for him.

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